Treehouses: Engineers at Work!

Tree House

A tree house, a free house,

A secret you and me house,

A high up in the leafy branches

Cozy as can be house.

A street house, a neat house,

Be sure and wipe your feet house

Is not my kind of house at all–

Let’s go live in a tree house.

-Shel Silverstein

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This week we are going to delve deeper into looking at tree houses around the world so our students can start to generate ideas additional ideas for their tree houses. We will be reading the book What Happens To An Idea and students will start putting their ideas onto paper in the form of a blueprint.

Following the engineering design process, students have been Imagining what they will use for their tree houses and how they will build them. Next we have been (and will continue to) Exploring tree houses by practicing building houses that the big bad pig, wolf and boar can’t blow down. We read The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Boar  and the Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. 

Guided reading groups and reading response sheets

Guided reading groups and reading response sheets with the book Piggy, Piggy

Sequencing the story of the Three Little Pigs

Sequencing the story of the Three Little Pigs

Practicing addition by rolling the dice and adding the two numbers together

Practicing addition by rolling the dice and adding the two numbers together

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Practicing counting and number identification with pigs and images from the story of the Three Little Pigs

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Reading vocabulary words from the Three Little Pigs, following simple directions to draw a pig, and making our own picture story books

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Illustrating the setting from the Three Ninja Pigs and sounding out words to write the title with Principal Osie-Bobie

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After reading this story, we located Japan on our classroom map and globe. We looked at a picture from Japan, learned other Japanese words like dojo, sensei, gi, sayonara and then built a community and a dojo from the book where the Three Ninja Pigs lived (pictured here).

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This is the courtyard of the Dojo from the Ninja Pigs where they practice their martial arts skills. This is modeled after the illustrations in the book, which you can see on the floor. This has been their favorite story!

Now students are ready to start designing their treehouses. They will get graphing paper and pens to draw out their treehouse designs. We are going to continue to brainstorm ideas for our class model of an outdoor classroom of tree houses at the Savin Hill Cove. Dan Cheek from the North Bennett School will be coming to talk to our class about designing and building tree houses and other projects using wood. He has some pictures of children engaged in woodworking from a hundred years ago. We are going to be looking at pictures built in countries around the world, including ones in Kenya, Germany and Spain. We will select one to build in the block area.

As they design their treehouses, they will be making a plan for how they are going to build their treehouses. They are going to be thinking about what materials they are going to use and what steps they need to take to build.

We are going to continue integrating the Three Little Pigs across the curriculum. Enjoy!

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